Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification by Erik J. Olsson

By Erik J. Olsson

It really is tempting to imagine that, if a person's ideals are coherent, also they are prone to be real. This fact conduciveness declare is the cornerstone of the preferred coherence concept of data and justification. Erik Olsson's new e-book is the main large and targeted research of coherence and possible fact to this point. environment new criteria of precision and readability, Olsson argues that the worth of coherence has been broadly over priced. Provocative and readable, opposed to Coherence will make stimulating analyzing for epistemologists and somebody with a significant curiosity truthfully.

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Extra info for Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification

Sample text

A report is individually credible, furthermore, if it is a somewhat, but not fully, reliable indicator of the truth of its content. As we also saw, the posterior joint probability in witness scenarios is dependent on two parameters: the prior probability of what is being agreed upon and the credibility of each report taken singly. It should be emphasized that none of our observations so far has been established to hold for all possible witness scenarios. e. scenarios that can be represented using Huemer’s model, but one would expect several of the observations to hold more generally.

And yet I also know that before the event occurred it was extremely improbable that my ticket should win. If BonJour’s second criterion were correct, my believing that my ticket has won should reduce the coherence of my belief system. But pace BonJour this is clearly counter-intuitive. It is absurd to think that lottery winners are generally slightly incoherent in believing that they have won—even if their belief relies on absolutely reliable 16 does coherence imply truth? evidence. 3 Pinning down the Coherence Theorist These problems notwithstanding, is there anything that coherence theorists should be able to agree on as to the nature of coherence, apart from the vague idea of coherence being determined by connections between beliefs?

Such congruence, he maintains, raises the probability of what is remembered to the level of practical certainty in a way analogous to that in which agreement of testimonies can eventually make us convinced that what is being testiﬁed is true. Yet, as we noted in Chapter 2, agreement—the paradigm case of coherence—apparently has the desired effect only under special circumstances that involve independence and individual credibility. At least this is strongly suggested by our simple witness model.